How to Say “Yesterday” in Hebrew

Shalom! If you are eager to learn how to say “yesterday” in Hebrew, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore both the formal and informal ways to express “yesterday” in Hebrew. Additionally, we will touch on regional variations if necessary, providing you with plenty of tips and examples. Let’s dive right in!

Formal Way: “Yesterday” in Hebrew

The formal way to say “yesterday” in Hebrew is “אתמול” (etmol). This word is widely used in formal situations, such as professional settings, official documents, and formal speeches. Here are a few examples of how to use it:

הפגישה הייתה מתוכנתת לאתמול.
The meeting was scheduled for yesterday.

אני קראתי את הספר הזה אתמול.
I read this book yesterday.

Informal Way: “Yesterday” in Hebrew

When it comes to informal conversations, Hebrew speakers tend to use a different word for “yesterday.” The informal way to say “yesterday” in Hebrew is “אמש” (emesh). It’s important to note that this term is popular in spoken language but may not be appropriate in formal situations. Here are a few examples of how to use “אמש”:

באמש הייתי עם החברים בסרט.
Yesterday, I was at the movies with friends.

אמש הייתי עסוק מאוד בעבודה.
Yesterday, I was very busy with work.

Regional Variations

Hebrew is spoken by diverse communities around the globe, and certain regions may have their own variations of “yesterday.” However, when it comes to this particular word, “אתמול” (etmol) and “אמש” (emesh) remain the most widely understood terms across different Hebrew-speaking regions. Therefore, there is no significant regional variation to note for “yesterday.”

Tips and Usage

To enhance your understanding and usage of “yesterday” in Hebrew, consider the following tips:

  • Context Matters: Always pay attention to the context of your conversation to determine whether the formal or informal term is more appropriate.
  • Speak Clearly: Pay attention to pronunciation, emphasizing the correct vowel sounds. In “אתמול” (etmol), pronounce the “o” as a short “o.” In “אמש” (emesh), emphasize the “e” like in the word “red.”
  • Combine with Phrases: Utilize “אתמול” (etmol) or “אמש” (emesh) in conjunction with other phrases to form more complex sentences to express your thoughts more precisely.


Here are a few additional examples of “yesterday” used in various contexts:

הם הגיעו מבריטניה אתמול.
They arrived from Britain yesterday.

לפי החדשות אתמול, תראה איזה חדשות מעניינות!
According to yesterday’s news, look at some interesting news!

אמש יצאתי לאכול פיצה טעימה.
Yesterday, I went out to eat delicious pizza.


Congratulations! You have now mastered the art of saying “yesterday” in Hebrew. You are equipped with both the formal version, “אתמול” (etmol), and the informal version, “אמש” (emesh). Remember to consider the context and choose the appropriate term accordingly. Keep practicing and incorporating these words into your Hebrew conversations for a more authentic experience. יום טוב (have a great day)!

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Written by Lillian Isabelle

Shalom! I'm Lillian, your go-to guide for mastering Hebrew—from the divine ("Angels" and "Anointed One") to the mundane("Beer" and "Coffee"). I happily split my time between sipping a well-brewed coffee, αγαπώντας my "bad dog", and writing about "chocolate", "cake", "bathrooms" and all things in between! Not only does my work help others navigate the beautiful intricacies of the Hebrew language, featuring both formal and informal expressions, but it also feeds my passion for cultural exploration. Outside of this, you might find me planting "sunflowers" and "daisies" in my backyard. עד שנפגש שוב ("Until we meet again"), happy learning!

One Comment

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  1. Oh what a useful explanation, thank you so much. Now I know to say “אתמול הייתי רופא עדשים”.

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